Collaboration is when two or more people come together to create something epic. This is something that is done quite often in a work setting, and for many different career paths, makes up a huge part of the job. So is there a right and wrong way to do it? No – but there are a few ways to make it more effective. Let’s take a look at 6 of them right now!
“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” Alexander Graham Bell was right about that! In order to hold an effective collaboration meeting, you have to make sure your people are prepared. Start by sending your team a message, listing the goal of the meeting and any other important information they might need to know.
Planning ahead will get the wheels turning – and it’s likely that SOMEONE will bring an awesome idea to open the session with.
Define Your Goals
Start by identifying the purpose of your collaboration meeting. What are you hoping to accomplish? What will the ideal finished product be? When you set goals from the beginning, it will be easier to stay on track and get the job done! Everyone will be clear on what is needed from them and will be able to do their part.
Collaboration is a TEAM effort and can only be done well if everyone participates. Make sure that each member of the group feels heard. You might even make it known from the get-go that everyone is here to take part. One of my best tips for encouraging participation is to offer an incentive! Who doesn’t love a friendly competition, especially when there’s a prize at stake?
It’s likely that not every person on your team is 100% comfortable speaking up. So it’s important to make sure that everyone feels heard. Here are some tips for how you can actively listen to your teammates in a collaborative setting.
Ask follow up questions
Give everyone a chance to speak
Be gentle about interrupting someone
Make eye contact
In a group setting, it’s easy to get distracted. Ideas are being thrown around, side conversations are forming, and before you know it, you’re on a completely different page. This is the number one killer of all collaboration! It not only wastes you AND your team’s time, but it takes the life out of anyone in the room that might actually have a good idea.
When a meeting gets derailed, it only takes one person to get things back on track! In this case, it’s okay to interrupt the group. Remind the team of the goals and offer some feedback to kick things off.
When you have a positive attitude going in, every single person in the room will want to contribute to the common goal. Really drive home the idea of team effort and have fun in the process! Don’t forget that collaboration is supposed to inspire you and bring you together as a group!
Collaboration births some of the best ideas. Haven’t you heard the saying, “teamwork makes the dream work?” We hope these tips will lead you into more effective conversations. For more on professional development and career advancement, head over to my blog at meetryanevans.com!